Home / Health and Science / Hard to diagnose, quick to fix- pain medicine sales on the rise

Hard to diagnose, quick to fix- pain medicine sales on the rise

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Florida has seen a sharp rise in the sale of prescription pain medication, and University of Florida Addictive Medicine Professor Gary Reisfield says that is the first step in a dangerous trend.

[audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/04/REISFIELD2.mp3]

Reisfield has seen continued growth in sales over the past 20 years. The most popular, oxycodone, is found in a number of common pain medications, including Vicodin.  Reisfield says limited resources have caused doctors to rely more on prescriptions because there is not enough time to adequately diagnose pain.

[audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/04/REISFIELD3.mp3]

While using these drugs according to a doctor’s exact specifications does not cause problems with most patients, Reisfield says reckless use could lead to addiction, overdose, or even death. He hopes increased awareness of the problem will lead to declining sales in the near future. For now, Reisfield says more effort needs to be placed on a multidisciplinary approach to pain remediation so we can work away from our reliance on a quick fix.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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